Blickfang + The FEIERLAUNE Book Launch!

Hey everyone! I was just in the beautiful port city of Hamburg where I launched the German edition of (which JUST released in and the !) in partnership with , "the" International Design Fair that has events all over German-speaking Europe supporting new and established independent artists and designers, and our German publishers, . I still can't believe I'm with Random House, a real dream come true as I've always wanted to be represented by a very large house. So thank you DVA for working with us on our book and being so supportive with the latest title which is called FEIERLAUNE (). blickfang10

I really love Blickfang, I had the honor of dining with their CEO  and was so fascinated by her ability to keep her cool and be so approachable and warm despite all of the pressure to manage so many fairs having two children (a baby and a young son) and a husband at home. In addition to being a power woman and a great mom, she's extremely supportive of the design community in Europe and really enjoys giving them a beautiful platform in which they can have an almost "pop up shop" for a weekend at a beautiful location and not only meet the local press and journalists but also get in close touch with bloggers who are invited and of course, the local community who shops at .

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For this fair, I was invited to be on a with two others, French Industrial Designer and German Photographer, Star-Stylist, Magazine Founder of and Makeup Artist .

It was such a nice joining, us three, because we are all coming from different backgrounds and places in our careers, and countries - a German, French and an American - which really gives us such an interesting perspective when we were gathered together. One thing I noticed though is that despite our differences, we all know good design when we see it - well made, thought through, a good story, etc. We didn't argue at all about the winners - we all were told to walk the floor separately and then regroup a few hours later to show our 3 favorites in each category - fashion/accessories and home design. We all chose the same designers as our finalists so it was easy to determine the winner from there. However, to be fair, we went back to the booths of all of our finalists giving them a chance to "sell themselves" to us, the jury, as to why they deserve to win. That was most fascinating. It's always so interesting to see what people have to say about their own products and how well they can give, what we Americans call, an "Elevator Pitch".

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In the end, we chose for Fashion because of her necklaces and bracelets by and for Design. I personally loved the story behind Dubaruba because she is giving work to Africans to make and design jewelry for her label. The winner for home design easily went to the lighting from  which was just exquisitely made - both form and function were equally strong and I really loved what I saw the designer, Markus Ranft, was a charming man and knew how to pitch his product which was impressive because being an independent designer is more than just making things, you have to also have a strong business sense and not be afraid to speak with conviction about your brand. After the winners were selected, we presented the awards before the fair attendees and each was given 500, Euros cash. It was really fun to take part in this presentation and to make other people so happy!

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The next morning, I was the star of show which was really fun but also scary, since I'd not been in the public eye doing an event since October 2012. I took time off to be pregnant and then, spend that time writing books (I wrote one during pregnancy and then one last year) and I wanted to stay close to home with a new child and I'm glad I did it. But he is 2 1/2 now so I decided it's time to get out and start meeting my friends and fans again.

It wasn't hard after walking in for the breakfast launch party on Saturday morning - we had a full house and it was invigorating, beautifully styled and planned, the food was excellent, and it was gorgeous - the space, all of it. Happily, Blickfang and my German publishers, , along with one of my favorite drinks - , sponsored this gorgeous event for  and I couldn't be happier! I only missed my co-author Leslie Shewring.

All of the photos in this post, so beautifully done, are by Photographer  (with permission) and were taken mostly during my event. You can see the nice guests and splendid breakfast buffet and my youngest fan, , who is only 14 years old and a blogger for teenagers - she completely melted my heart when she called me her idol. I nearly cried from happiness to know that my blog has influence over people of all ages and backgrounds, maybe it is because I have a child now and want so much to be a good role model to young people now more than ever before. It was very touching to meet her and motivated me to keep going full steam ahead with my career.

The two photos below show her and I - she asked me to sign a copy of my book and of course, I did. I really loved meeting her, her talented father took these photos below of us.) I got to meet her parents and they were incredible - so supportive of their daughter and her creativity.

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So, to wrap up I have to say a few things: Thank you from my heart to Ami, Johanna, Astrid and of course, Jennifer for EVERYTHING. I am still so impressed by this amazing party in my honor. And thank you to DVA/Random House for the support in this, too. Also, thank you to everyone who came, it was so nice to meet all of you - truly a pleasure.

Also, if any of you are interested in Blickfang, either visiting or being a part of it, I highly encourage you to check out this video. It's from last year (I'm in it!) but it really shows the fair and how well done it really is.

I'll be on the jury at Blickfang Zurich and teaching two workshops and sharing my book at , so I hope those of you living in Switzerland or nearby can attend. I'll be working with Blickfang and Switzerland's most influential woman's magazine, , and can't wait to meet all you there.

xo, Holly

PlacesHolly Becker Comments
Decorate For a Party + Olive Box!

Great news for those of you who cannot come out to our book events... Leslie and I have partnered with Grace Kang from  in New York City to offer you a very special box-of-the-month on her website! You can order exclusive signed copies of our book (not available anywhere else online) as part of the Lifestyle Box subscription. You can and each month, you will get a beautiful box of goodies but your first book will contain a signed copy of Decorate For a Party from Leslie and I - we hope you love it! imgp2025

Thank you Grace for your support and to all of you who would like a signed copy, remember to order from Olive Box because we won't have signed copies available online elsewhere, only if you come to our in-person events.

Upcoming event locations:

London, 28 September at Anthropologie (, includes a workshop with us!)

Amsterdam, 1 October at Meet The Blogger (, includes a 45 teaching lecture from me!)

Victoria, BC in October, date TBD, with Leslie Shewring

Berlin in November for (date TBD)

Zurich, 26 November at Blickfang (, includes a workshop with me for )

Hannover in December (date TBD)

If you can't make these events above, you can get your signed book copies through Olive Box and she will ship to you right away. xo

(image: olive box)

How To Make Infused Sugars: Chai, Vanilla + Lavender
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Hello everyone and happy September! I hope you all had a wonderful summer full of lots of fun memories. Every year my husbands family has a huge baking weekend to make Christmas cookies, (which isn’t until December obviously), but we have started to make our own vanilla sugar months in advance to ensure it is well infused for our favorite vanilla crescent cookies. (My husbands family background is Czech so I am sure there are a few of your out there who make over the holidays!). Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

So it is time, and we have made a big batch of vanilla sugar for the holidays. We also whipped up a batch of chai infused sugar and lavender sugar to add to our favorite baked goods over the coming months. They make for wonderful DIY gifts if that is your thing. Those foodies in your life are sure to appreciative!

Each recipe makes a cup of sugar, and you can either make a big batch now and store it for a couple of months then divide into little jars for gifts closer to the gift giving season. Or add straight into the jars you intend to give. (Which ever you have space for storing I guess!). Any of the recipes can be divided up once the flavors have been added. If you intend to split up the vanilla sugar, just divide the bean up into 3 parts and add the seeds and pod to the sugar. I would stick to 3 small jars for each bean so as to get maximum infusion!

You can totally eat the lavender buds, but I would remove the chai spices before adding the sugar to any treats. I like to keep the chai spices mostly whole so they are easy to remove before using. You can however use a mortar and pestle to break the spices up if you wish. Time to start collecting jars!

Chai Sugar Ingredients 1 cinnamon stick ¼ teaspoon whole cloves 4 teaspoons cardamom pods 4 whole star anise 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Chai Sugar Gently crush or break the cinnamon stick into half. Add the cinnamon pieces, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise and ginger to the sugar. Stir and store in an airtight container for a few weeks. Remove spices before adding to your favorite cookie recipe.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Lavender Sugar Ingredients 1 tablespoon culinary lavender 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Lavender Sugar Add the lavender to the sugar and stir through. Put into an airtight jar and shake. Store for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months. For finer sugar and lavender buds, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add to your favorite cookie recipe for a floral palate.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Vanilla Sugar Ingredients 1 vanilla bean 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Vanilla Sugar Slice the vanilla bean lengthways and remove the seeds. Stir the seeds through the sugar. Store in an airtight jar with the vanilla pod for a few weeks or until ready to use. For finer sugar, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add to any baking recipe or holiday cookies (or your coffee or tea!).

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

What’s your favorite infused sugar flavor? -

TIP FROM HOLLY: These also make for great party gifts for your guests to put near each plate on the table with a little tag with the guest's name on it - they can take it home and it serves as a seating card.

(Photography, Styling, Recipes and Text: Two Loves Studio)

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

My friend , who lives in the Netherlands, has such a beautiful home-based office that I thought I'd share a tour of it with you today along with my 17 tips for a beautiful, practical office space that I took from each view of her space. Located on the top floor of her home, this open concept, large loft space is flooded with natural light and as a stylist and photographer, Ms. Marder definitely required this for her work. I visited her here last summer and just loved it! It feels like the best spot to be creative and that is exactly what she uses it for. From her client work to her photography and writing assignments, it's the place where all of her creative ideas see the light of day and where others are born. Would you fancy a look? img_3027

1. Neutral palette - I love how neutral and natural everything looks while also feeling very modern, light and fresh.

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2. Lots of pattern - From the weave on the chair seat to the subtle pattern on the cabinet, the herringbone patterned rug, the wood grain on furniture and accessories, the beams in the ceiling, lines in the floorboards, watercolor prints by  that are available at  (I also have these in my home), and the cushion covers (many of which are African Mud Cloth, I get mine on Etsy at and ), there is an abundance of pattern in this room - mostly subtle, but sometimes bold. The mix keeps the room tranquil but still lends a cozy vibe and keeps the space from looking boring which can easily happen in mostly white or neutral rooms.

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3. Accent piece/s - This cabinet by is a real stand out piece despite being subtle, it's still very noticeable when you enter the space. It's unique and the minty color is just fabulous combined with those perfect brass handles.

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4. Organized - This space has a sense of clarity and openness yet it's not entirely empty - there are things out and displayed yet they are stacked and positioned so neatly and with great care, so you feel more like you have entered a retail space and not so much like the prop space of a stylist where things are constantly being rotated in and out according to her client's orders.

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5. Open storage - I really like how Ms. Marder uses every chance to showcase the things she loves and to tuck away the bits she doesn't. These fabrics, some from , are far too pretty to place inside of a cabinet, so she has displayed them on this wooden leaning rack by .

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6. Texture - Holly has a nice mix of texture in the space from wood to ceramics and textiles. Some of her ceramics from and just gorgeous. Mi in ceramics always brings in a sense of personality but also warmth, especially pieces that look made by hand versus mass produced and perfect.

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7. Lighting - I can't say how much I love how her space is bathed in natural daylight. It's just gorgeous, isn't it? And I love her lamps and pendant lighting too in brass and wood (wood pendant over her round table is by , wall scone by and desk lamp from ). Natural light doesn't always come easily. Sometimes you have to remove a wall, pop in a skylight, remove heavy window treatments opting for lighter ones (i.e. simple roman shade), even install windows or replace old ones with those that allow in more light. There is usually expense involved in making your home light and bright when you aren't blessed with natural light. No matter the expense or hassle though, it's worth it if your mood and work depend on it.

Note: Look at this room before () and (). See what I mean? A white wooden floor bounced the natural light back up and painting the walls made it even brighter so those two tricks really gave the loft an airy, bright mood. Definitely worth the time and expense to renovate.

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8. Massive desk area - I have had a full wall with my desk like this for the past 5 years and I honestly could never go back to working on a single desk. I love it so much and I find that most creatives, after they try it, also can't go back to working on a single desk. To spread all of your work out on a surface and be able to stand and move around as you shuffle papers and work - it's great. Add good music to the mix and the basic tools you need to work (printer, computer, paper, etc.) and you've got everything you need.

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9. Open Space. When I look at this office, I don't feel like it's packed. I don't feel overwhelmed or stressed. I don't feel like there isn't a way to quickly transform it for a workshop or photo shoot or to welcome a client. It does feel very flexible and open. I like this sense of open space. Everything feels like it can be moved around and used in a new way. Even her desk - nothing except her minty green cabinet is screwed into a wall. Everything else can be moved about so she has total creative freedom here.

Note: You can see how this space has been used in the past for workshops () and ().

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10.  Character. This sofa! I really adore this wicker sofa, more than I should because it's a special piece and I'll most likely never be able to find one like it. But I do adore it. And this is what every room needs, those special pieces that only you can have and that are special - you sourced it from a flea market, it was handed down from family, a few pieces that have a story to tell. They add soul.

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11.  Fresh Greens - While not the focus in the room, I like how she has added some plants in the space to bring in some natural greenery and life. When it comes to plants, I'm a bit of a minimalist and though jungle fever is trending and I love how it looks in the homes of others, I prefer only a few per room. Same goes for flowers, I like some dotted around a space - mostly those that look fresh picked from an English garden, but I'm also not into perfect arrangements that overtake a space.

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12. Mood board. I know everyone organizes their thoughts differently, I admit to using Pinterest more than pinning on my own walls these days, but I still love a nice arrangement of things pinned to a wall near my computer. It gives my eye a place to rest during the day that often centers me and helps clear my mind.

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13. Texture. When you have texture, you bring in warmth. The more natural texture (vs man-made cheap synthetics) the better - wood, wool, clay, wicker, straw, cane. It also adds dimension and makes you feel good. Stepping on a soft wooly rug with bare feet is so nice in any season.

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14. Pillows. Maybe it's the American in me, but I love throw pillows. Stacked on a cabinet, in a cabinet, positioned nicely on a chair or sofa, on my bed, on the floor - I really enjoy having them in a space - and why not a work space? Sometimes you may need to sit on the floor to work on a project, or you just require an extra one for your back while seated. They add a element of home to what could easily turn into a boring, generic work area, don't you think?

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15. Contrast. You always need heathy tension in a room or else it can quickly look to too same-y or boring. This wooden cabinet, because it's so dark and unexpected since it's old and everything else in the room is somewhat new or modern, is just perfect. Because the doors are glass, it's not too heavy looking and it houses fine textiles and pieces worth showcasing.

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16. Pretty objects on display. This space definitely has a lot of beautiful objects in it. Even simple pots for plants and baskets for storage, though currently not in use for their intended purpose, look beautiful displayed simply on a bench like this. Some are tempted to store everything behind closed doors if not being used, but often objects that are pretty to look at can make an impact when not tucked away.

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17. Styled right. This work room is styled like a store. In fact, when I look at it, I think Ms. Marder has a retail space in her future or an online shop because she has the eye of a shopkeeper for sure. I really love how she folds and drapes and stacks her objects that eventually go out to her design clients. Working daily in a space where such care and love is given to objects can't help but inspire your work!

I have to add that whenever I think about the day when I worked with Holly in this space, I hear the Australian band . Do you know them? It's all I heard when I looked at these photos this morning while writing this post. They're a great band and super nice for listening to while working.

For more resources and ideas of how this space was put together, refer to Avenue Lifestyle .

(Photographs + Styling: With Permission from Holly Marder. Text: Holly Becker)

Micro Trend: Float Frames For Photography + Art

One trend I've spotted lately when it comes to wall art and photo framing is the gorgeous, light and airy-looking . Have you noticed this too? Generally made of acrylic with brass bolts and screws, they are modern and clean -- just perfect for fine art photography, family photos or special documents or keepsakes. I've been spotting them around and noticed that rolled them out in five sizes just this week so I thought to highlight them as I really love this look and they carry them in 12x14, 17x20, 26x26, 24x30, and 30x42. C8e6qnFnMA2LZT9kW9VdiXV_xeRwYGAm87hSHAgE5lc,6sgRaTqJv1vG_BRozwiXNvJnKKl8FP18fbjg6jYpf8g,tRgTpXmV5Od6UE9aFumayzSulaDO4iOmwX1JdKwoYAo

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What do you think of this look? I love it - such a nice change from traditional frames.

(Photographs: With permission from Artifact Uprising)

Meet Me In Hamburg This Saturday, 10 September - FeierLaune Buch Party
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Hello dear friends. This is a quick post to let you know that on Saturday morning I'm going to be in Hamburg at the for  International Design Fair from 10-11 am to present the German edition of my new book, [easyazon_link identifier="3421040362" locale="DE" tag="cattledogs09-21"]FeierLaune[/easyazon_link], for the first time - it's not even out yet so no one has a copy and won't for a few more weeks! If you'd like to come, we'll be having breakfast and talking about the book and I'll be signing copies and meeting everyone - it will be very nice and my little boy will be with me so he can meet everyone and be at mama's book launch party. I'll also have some time between 11:15-12:30 for interviews if you'd like to meet one on one. Decorate-for-A-Party,-p39,-photography-by-Janis-Nicolay

To register, just use and I'll see you there!

Thank you and Blickfang for hosting this special event in celebration of my 4th book.

(Photograph: for Decorate For a Party)